Responses by Daniela Covarrubias, designer.
Background: How Many Plants is a plant care resource for anyone interested in houseplants, whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or just getting started. I found a lot of the information online to be all over the place and often contradictory, so I wanted to build a robust resource that would be fun to engage with and genuinely useful!
Design core: The site has a bold graphic style with a touch of whimsical mid-century vibes, but it wouldn’t be what it is without the illustrations. I was lucky to connect with Evie May Adams, a wonderful illustrator who was willing to dive into this big project with me and take on everything from the illustrations of the plants themselves along with icons, interiors, and tons of one-off vignettes and diagrams for the long-form articles.
Favorite details: It was a last-minute addition, but I love the homepage interaction—on desktop only—where you can use the watering can cursor to “water” the plants and make them wiggle!
The whole homepage concept of showcasing the plants on shelves was inspired by my career in interiors. I love styling a shelf because it’s all about layering textures and shapes to make something that feels balanced as a whole, but it still draws you in to take a closer look. And I felt like translating that to the web could be really fun and engaging.
Challenges: The content! It was super fun to build the site, but ultimately, the biggest hurdle was the content. Since I wanted the site to be a useful resource, I knew the content actually had to be good. I sorely underestimated how hard it would be to painstakingly research and write about 30 plants—and growing—while also doing full creative direction for all the illustrations and conceptualizing and editing all the long-form articles, which were written by a ghost writer.
New lessons: I’m trained as an architect and have been working in interiors for the past six years, so I had superminimal web experience before creating this site. I had to learn everything from how to design around breakpoints to how to structure content for CMS—and everything in between. But luckily, I didn’t have to start from learning to code—I ended up using Webflow to create the site.
Technology: Webflow, with a little bit of custom code on top. I’m fortunate to have a husband who’s a web developer. I was able to snag a bit of his time to help with features I couldn’t achieve with Webflow alone.